16 March 2023

Strong and simple regulatory framework is key to securing EU’s access to critical raw materials

The Commission’s Critical Raw Materials Act, published today, is a step in the right direction towards ensuring the EU’s access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials and achieving the green energy transition.

The Communication of the Act acknowledges the importance of third countries for the supply chain of raw materials and using inter alia the Global Gateway funds to support developing countries and increase the value addition in their country.

The Regulation of the Act aims to strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy by introducing the concept of strategic projects which operate under faster permitting processes  and better access to finance; but more needs to be done to remove wider regulatory EU barriers, especially when it comes to the coherence with chemicals management legislation.

Europe needs a strong, stable and simple regulatory framework that will foster investments and accelerate progress towards a clean and sustainable future. A key element of this is lifting regulatory barriers and inconsistencies between legislation that affect investments in green technologies, such as cobalt.

Reliable, secure, and sustainable access to critical and strategic raw materials are key enablers for a globally competitive, green, and digital Europe. Demand for these materials is only going to increase as we accelerate the deployment of net-zero technologies.

 A well-balanced legal framework that unites all relevant pieces of EU legislation, including chemicals management, is necessary to create certainty for investors and support Europe’s coverall competitiveness.

Adding cobalt to the list of strategic and critical raw materials acknowledges its key role in the green energy transition. Strategic projects can now support the resilience of the cobalt value chain in Europe and help secure cobalt demand for Europe for the years to come.

Cobalt is at the centre of the green energy transition across the world. It is essential for achieving the EU’s climate targets: it ensures safe and durable batteries for electric mobility, provides energy storage of intermittent renewable energy, and contributes to the circular economy. The EU expects to need up to 5 times more cobalt by 2030 and nearly 15 times by 2050 to cover its growing EVs and energy storage needs.



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